Bharwan Karela | Stuffed Bitter Gourd

This is my Mom’s recipe!!! Each and every ingredient or step is as per her, not even a tiny bit of change. There are so many ways to relish these delicious stuffed bitter gourd (bitter melon) and best part is they aren’t bitter post cooking. They are perfect in breakfast with a paratha or with dalphukla in lunch or with khichdi, dalrice in dinner.

Also try: Bharwan Bhindi.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: North Indian

Time: Preparation – 10 mins, Soaking – 1 hour, Cooking – 50 mins, Total – 2 hours.

Servings: 4


  1. Bitter Gourd (Karela) – 4-5 medium
  2. Grated Onion – 4 medium
  3. Grated Raw Mango – 1 small-medium
  4. Finely Chopped Green Chili – 3-4
  5. Fennel Seed Powder – 3 tsp
  6. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
  10. Oil – 4 tbsp
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Thread to tie the bitter gourds.

How to make Bharwan Karela:

  1. Wash the bitter gourd and cut the tails. Peel them and keep the peel aside. Slit the bitter gourds length-wise with base intact and remove the seeds
  2. Apply some salt on the bitter gourds (inside and outside) and on the peel. Set aside for an hour, it helps in reducing the bitterness
  3. Post an hour wash them thoroughly and squeeze to remove the bitter juice. Separate the peel
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai or a pan and add the peel. Saute for about 2 mins on a medium flame
  5. Add grated onions and green chillies. Saute for 2-3 mins
  6. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. Cook until golden brown
  7. Add fennel seed powder, garam masala powder, grated raw mango and salt. Cook for 4-5 mins, your stuffing is ready. Let it cool down
  8. Take the bitter gourds and stuff them with the stuffing. Take a thread and tie all around. Incase any stuffing is left then keep aside
  9. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai or a pan. Add stuffed bitter gourds and turn from all sides so that they’re well coated in oil
  10. Cover and cook on a low flame until bitter gourds are soft and cooked, keep turning them occasionally so that they’re cooked evenly
  11. Now add the remaining stuffing to the kadai and mix, cook for another 2-3 mins. Your Bharwan Karela is ready, remove the thread before serving.


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